Bishop’s Ad Clerum – June 2016

Unlocking our potential bilingual logo1af o Fehefin 2016 1st June

Dydd y Ffoaduriaid : World Refugee Day

Bydd wrol a dewr iawn! (Josua 1.7)

Be strong and very courageous! (Joshua 1.7)

Annwyl Gyfeillion

I am always interested in the way that items are chosen for report on our news programmes.  Ukraine dominated for a while, and although I suspect that war still goes on, unless a fragile ceasefire is holding, we hear nothing.  For a while the refugee crisis was at the heart of our news, but now, apart from another tragic spilling of an unseaworthy craft in the Mediterranean, we hear little.  But the Jungle is still there (just), and refugee families and children still need homes, and the problems that drive people to flee their homes still force more people into desperate measures.  The refugee crisis deserves to be more than fifteen minutes of fame (or should we say infamy) before the news machine rumbles off elsewhere to the winner of Britain’s Got Talent, shall we say, or the closeness of the planet Mars.  Although World refugee Day falls in the middle of half term week this year, I hope that it will not be forgotten in any of our churches – and remembered next Sunday if possible.

Aidan Coleman with some of the donations for Calais webThe diocese is doing good work on this front.  Aidan Coleman has led a group carrying relief to the Jungle, parishes like Rhyl are acting as brokers to find homes for refugees, and TCC are lobbying local authorities on our behalf so that councils are persuaded to do what they can to demonstrate that Wales is an hospitable nation, and that refugees can be welcomed, cared for, and share in the building of our society.

We are perhaps allowing ourselves to be shaped more by our fears than our hopes in north Wales.  This is one cause which acts like a litmus test of where the Gospel should lead the Church.

Petertide Ordination

Time flies, and we are now in the run up to the Petertide Ordination.  I should be grateful if you would make every effort to join us at the Ordination on 25th June, and to hold in your prayers our candidates for ordination:

Our candidates for the Priesthood:

  • Phil Carey, serving in the emerging Offa Mission Area
  • Ivor Hawkins, serving in the emerging Caereinion Mission Area
  • Peter Heaney, serving in the emerging Tanat Mission Area
  • Glyn Jones, serving in the emerging Caereinion Mission Area

Our candidates for the Diaconate

  • Dorothi Evans, to serve in the Penllyn & Edeyrnion Deanery, rooted in Corwen
  • Juliet Fraser, to serve in the St Asaph Deanery, rooted in Rhyl
  • Ann Hooper, to serve in the emerging Estuary & Mountain Mission Area, rooted in Halkyn
  • Peter Nissen, to serve in the emerging Alyn Mission Area, rooted in Gresford
  • Yvonne Price, to serve in the emerging Alyn Mission Area, rooted in Gwersyllt

Please make an effort to support these colleagues, even if you do not know them well.  I am delighted that we will be joined by Bishop Jack Nicholls, whose rousing address at the last Clergy School many of us remember with affection.  Jack will be leading the retreat for Bangor and St Asaph ordinands at St Beuno’s Spirituality Centre, and then preaching for us in the morning, and Bangor in the afternoon.

All diocesan clergy attending are asked to robe (alb or surplice and white stole) in the main hall at St Asaph VP School (located opposite the Cathedral car park). The ordination party and Cathedral Chapter are to robe in the Cathedral Song School.  As usual, overflow car parking has been arranged at Ysgol Glan Clwyd.

20 Years of Women’s Priestly Ministry in the Church in Wales

Time flies (where have I just read that phrase), and we are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Church in Wales.  We can celebrate not only this decision, but also the fruitfulness of the ministry of all our priests, women and men, working alongside each other.  I have invited the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, the Bishop of Gloucester, to join us for a special celebratory Eucharist in the Cathedral on Saturday, 7th January, 2017, at 11.00hr in the Cathedral, and Sue Huyton has agreed to lead a working party to plan this event, and any other elements of our celebration that weekend.  I hope to publish more details before long.

Hwyl a Helo

Alex and GeorgeI am very pleased to report the engagement of the Revd Alex Mayes to Mr George Bearwood (pictured right).  We’ve known George and Alex as an item for a long time now, and send them our congratulations and support as they take the step towards marriage.

I am sad, however, to announce the death of Clifford Bennett, former priest of this diocese.  Clifford served as curate in Holywell prior to twenty years as parish priest of Pontblyddyn, and gave faithful service to the diocese and to Christ. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

I am also sorry to record a further number of family deaths this month: the death of Andrew Sully’s mother, Avril, David Ash’s mother, Rita, and Edward Yendall’s mother, Jean.  Our thoughts and prayers go to Andrew, David and Edward, and all their families at this time.


In the very near future a number of posts in the diocese will be advertised in the Church Times.  The appropriate archdeacon or Mission Area Leader would be pleased to hear from any cleric who would like to have an informal conversation, or who can suggest the names of those elsewhere who might like to join the Teulu Asaph.

To be advertised in Church Times on 3rd and 10th June, with the closing date of 20th June:

  • The combined post of Mission Area Leader of Rhos and parish priest for Llanddulas and Llysfaen.
  • Vicar of Llandrillo yn Rhos in the emerging Rhos Mission Area.
  • Vicar of the Llanfair Caereinion Group in the emerging Caereinion Mission Area
  • Vicar of Rhosllanerchrugog and Penycae in the emerging Offa Mission Area.
  • Pioneer Priest/Second curacy in the emerging Estuary and Mountain Mission Area (Holywell).

To be advertised in Church Times on 24th June and 1st July:

  • HfD Priest Guardian of the Shrine of St Melangell, Pennant Melangell, and Director of the St Melangell Centre.

Dates for your diary

Please note these dates in your diary, commend them in prayer, and be encouraged to join us where appropriate.  Some dates are part of the professional expectations of the clergy, and you are asked to take careful note of these in order to avoid future diary clashes.  I always try to give as much notice as possible where there are important dates for the diary, and if we don’t list them here, I don’t expect your attendance, although it is always nice to see you at any event or service.  If a date is listed here, then please don’t tell me at a later date that you didn’t know about it!

 *Please note the dates below of the Clergy Synods for the next year and of the Clergy Conference in 2017


19th June                      Ordination Anniversaries Service, Cathedral, 1100hr.

25th June                      Petertide Ordination, 1000hr in the Cathedral.  The retreat conductor and preacher will be Bishop Jack Nicholls, former Bishop of Sheffield.  All clergy are encouraged to be present if at all possible.

26th June                      Dee Valley Deanery Confirmation, St Mary’s Church, Ruabon, 1500hr.

JULY and beyond

3rd July                          Wrexham Mission Area Confirmation, St Giles’ Church, 1500hr.

19th July                       Commissioning of the Borderlands Mission Area, evening.

24th July                       Licensing of Norman Morris, as HfD priest in Cedewain Deanery, St Beuno’s Church, Bettws Cedewain, 1500hr

28th July                       Induction of Will Marshall as Vicar of Pentre Broughton and Southsea, 1900hr in St. Paul’s Church, Pentre Broughton.

18th September        Alyn Deanery Confirmation, St Mary’s Church, Brymbo, 1500hr.

28th September        Clergy Synod, all day meeting, St David’s Hotel, Ewloe.

3rd October                Choral Evensong with the Admission of new members to the Order of St Asaph, Cathedral, 1800hr.

8th October                 Diocesan Conference, St Joseph’s School, Wrexham.  Please note the change of venue.

16th October               Mathrafal Deanery Confirmation, St Mary’s Church, Llanfair Caereinion, 1100hr.

8-9th November        Area Dean / MAL 24hr Consultation at Foxhill Retreat Centre, Frodsham.

20th November         Hawarden Deanery Confirmation, 1500hr.

7th December            Nicholastide Confirmation at Cathedral, 1830hr.

7th January               Celebrating 20 years of Women’s Priestly Ministry in the Church in Wales, Cathedral , 11.00am

26th January                Clergy Synod (all day) St David’s Hotel, Ewloe.

7th-8th March              Area Dean/MAL 24hr Consultation at Foxhill Retreat Centre, Frodsham.            

19-22 September     Clergy Residential Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford.

7th-8th November     Area Dean/MAL 24hr Consultation at Foxhill Retreat Centre, Frodsham.

Notes and Queries

Anniversaries in Ministry

A last call for any who are celebrating significant anniversaries this year to join me for a celebration in the Cathedral.  On Sunday, 19 June, there will be  a special celebratory Eucharist at the Cathedral at 1100hr, in which we acknowledge and honour priestly service, and other ordained service in our diocese, and the celebrations such as 25 years and the ‘0’ or ‘5’ anniversaries.  If you have a special anniversary this year that you would like to celebrate with us on June 19th then please contact my office at Esgobty as soon as possible.

Compassionate and Emergency Leave

I have been very conscious of how many of our clergy have recently lost a member of the family.  I hope that as a family we can show considerable care and support to all such bereaved, and they are certainly in my daily prayers here at Esgobty.  I am aware that personal circumstances can in occasions of emergency best be supported with time off for compassionate leave.  In order to be fair in all such circumstances it is helpful to now reiterate the Church in Wales guidelines for such leave, with all requests agreed through the appropriate archdeacon.  Full details of normal arrangements for special leave provision can be found at

Cynnal: Church Counselling Service for Wales

A reminder that Cynnal is a free confidential counselling service available throughout Wales for all members of the clergy, ministers of religion and their families.  With Cynnal you can be assured that the support team is not only friendly and bilingual but also qualified to help you.  Cynnal offers a holistic view of the individual as body, mind and spirit and recognises the spiritual dimension of life and, where appropriate, will refer on to others who can provide spiritual advice.

You can call Cynnal for free, confidential information, advice and counselling on 0779 646 4045.

 Friends of The Cathedral

You will already be in receipt of a communication from the Lead Canon to the Friends of the Cathedral regarding clergy membership of the Friends of The Cathedral.  I very much want to support Quentin and the Friends as a group and I very much hope you will give his request your due consideration. I am delighted to have been invited as one of the guest speakers for this year’s programme and I look forward to delivering my lecture later this month on one of my favourite pastimes, the study of flags.

Safeguarding contacts

I’m aware there have been a few changes recently in personnel dealing with safeguarding matters on both a provincial and diocesan level and thought you may appreciate this update of contacts. Safeguarding concerns or complaints should be referred in the first instance to Elaine Cloke Head of Safeguarding. Her contact details are telephone number 02920348200 or 07787244037. Prior to the end of June 2016, if Elaine should be unavailable then the matter will automatically be transferred to Fay Howe Provincial Safeguarding Officer who will deal with the matter.

Wendy Lemon will be taking up her role as Provincial Safeguarding Officer and will be based in North Wales from 29 June 2016.  Following a period of induction will deal with complaints or concerns arising in the Diocese of St Asaph as well as Bangor and St David’s. Her email address will be Her telephone details will be notified at a later date.  We welcome Wendy to this role.

I am pleased to say that Joy Kett Safeguarding Support Officer will resume her work in the Diocese of St Asaph at the end of June 2016 following a period of illness. Joy will be primarily responsible for supporting the diocese and parishes in training and development for safe ministry. Her email address is

As ever I offer you my faithful thanks for your collegiality and support in ministry.  Much is changing around us, but we aim to do everything in order to support and encourage us to work together for the upbuilding, under God, of his Kingdom.  May the Spirit, sent forth at Pentecost, illuminate your minds and stir your hearts,

In Christ,

Bishop Gregory's signature 2015